Published on Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thomas Cook breaks the bad news to staff

Thomas Cook has confimed this morning that it has now told its staff which shops will close in the latest round of cuts.

The group announced yesterday that a further 2,500 jobs are to go across its UK retail and back-office network, but did not immediately tell staff which shops are to go.

It will close another 195 more high street shops, plus its Accrington head office, on top of the 149 which have already been axed.

A spokeswoman said although staff have now been informed, it could not disclose publicly which shops are on the list.

"What we can say is that stores proposed to close are in areas where we have multiple branches in close proximity or a small area, or are stores which are not meeting performance targets," she said.

Following the latest closures, Thomas Cook will be left with 874 shops, closer to the size it was prior to its merger with Co-operative Travel and Midlands Co-op Travel. It said a number of its stores did not meet the performance targets of the business and are in communities where Thomas Cook has more than one retail outlet.

In addition to the job losses in stores, a number of management and administrative roles are at risk at its head offices in Peterborough and Preston, it said.

The group is also proposing a number of changes to the management of core stores and certain roles within the large store network and it will be looking to change the terms and conditions of some employees (see trade union reaction here). One of its proposals is to replace store managers with cluster managers overseeing several branches.

The group has begun a 90-day consultation with its 15,500 staff over the job losses.

In a statement issued today, Thomas Cook said the "need to evolve the UK business has been a clearly stated goal" and had been accelerated by the appointment of Peter Fankhauser as UK CEO.

Fankhauser said:  "It is never easy to make decisions that impact directly on our people, but we also owe it to our customers to shape the business effectively and ensure that when they book their holiday with us our administrative costs are as low as possible.

"As we improve and develop our online capabilities, maintaining a strong presence on the High Street is an important part of our omni-channel strategy. Even after these changes we will still have one of the largest retail networks in UK travel.

"It is essential that we operate with the right number of people as we move forward into the next era for our company, allowing us to meet the future needs of our customers more effectively. 

"We firmly believe these proposals will mean a better - more profitable - Thomas Cook that continues to be a major employer in the UK and offer the widest range of holidays for travellers and voyagers in the future. We  are already consulting with our Unions and employee representative bodies to minimise the impact of these changes and I am speaking personally to all employees today to provide information and support through  this period of consultation. "


by Linsey McNeill

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  • Give others a chance

    Waht a slow death Thomas Cook is making of dissapearing from the travel industry. Now is the time to go and to let others fill the space that you should leaves ASAP.

    By Paul Neaves, Thursday, March 7, 2013

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